ELIANT Conference November 28th, 2017
TOWARDS A HEALTHY DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM
Workshop 1, Summary
Prof. Dr. Edwin Huebner's lecture and work group focused on the human capacities that need to be gained and trained during childhood and adolescence. His message was to completely avoid digital toys during the child's first three years. As Prof. Dr. Thomas Fuchs had explained in his lecture, the brain develops according to and as a consequence of, bodily movements (embodiment). What the child grasps, actively goes towards, feels and touches with his body, stimulates the development of the brain and its complex neural networks. Huebner gave many colourful examples of how children and adolescents are able to develop their full human capacities by learning and training themselves how to write by hand, play outside and inside, socialise with others, learn art and music, practice crafts, sports, outdoor activities, and so on.
Then later on in childhood, ideally starting at age 10 or 12, they should learn in detail about digital devices as well as the basic skills of coding and building a computer. The adolescent needs to be able to use the computer as a tool and learn the full spectrum of uses to which the digital media can be put. The young person should leave school feeling competent in using such devices. They should also have learned to know what it means to be inwardly active themselves. This source of inner energy should enable them as adults to avoid becoming addicted to the various forms of social media and digital devices. One participant pointed to the important role that parents can play in schools as role models for their children. For this however a lot of self awareness and also training is needed.
Huebner concluded by saying that the robot is now also an aspect of our lives. We need to find ways of integrating this machine into our activities. We must at the same time though make sure that as human beings we do not to give up and hand over our core human capacities like empathy, love, individual judgement, common sense and all our ethics, to the machine.
Prof. Dr. Edwin Hübner and Alexander Schwedeler